Welaka National Fish Hatchery Gets Recovery Act Funding to Improve Energy Efficiency
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2009
(Welaka, Fla.) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $10,160 contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) to DePriest Heating and Cooling, Inc., to upgrade energy systems at the Welaka National Fish Hatchery.
“By putting these Recovery dollars to work at the Welaka hatchery, we are making an investment in jobs immediately and modern energy efficiency that will benefit the facility for many years to come,” said Hatchery Manager Allan Brown.
The Service solicited bids from local vendors and is pleased to award the bid to DePriest Heating and Cooling, Inc., East Palatka, Fla. The upgraded, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems are essential to the comfort and well-being of the public to enjoy the visitors’ contact station and exhibits, and are absolutely necessary for Service employees.
“These new units will be much more efficient than the old units they are replacing,” said Brown. “The contract has been awarded and the new units should be in place by the end of September.”
Welaka National Fish Hatchery, established as a Federal facility in 1938, annually produces five million to six million warm and cold-water fish for restoration and recovery programs throughout the Southeast Region. These include striped bass and the threatened gulf sturgeon.
More than 20,000 people visit the hatchery in north central Florida every year to learn more about natural resources and the Service’s aquatic species programs.
Funding for these projects and hundreds more across the nation comes from the Recovery Act passed earlier this year. Of the $3 billion appropriated to the Department of the Interior, the Recovery Act provides $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which includes $115 million for construction, repair and energy efficiency retrofit projects at Service facilities, and $165 million for habitat restoration, deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects. Projects will help create local jobs in the communities where they are located and around the United States, while stimulating long-term employment and economic opportunities for the American public.
The Service will channel nearly $56.6 million of Recovery Act funding into economic stimulus projects throughout the Southeast Region.
Recovery Act projects address long-standing priority needs identified by the Service through its capital planning process. The agency worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify and prioritize investments meeting the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.
For a full list of funded projects nationwide, go to the Department’s Recovery web site at http://recovery.doi.gov/. For a list of Service projects, click on the Service’s logo at the bottom of the page or visit http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/us-fish-and-wildlife-service. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site, which includes an interactive map that allows the public to track where and how the Department’s recovery dollars are being spent. In addition, the public can submit questions, comments or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov and http://www.fws.gov/southeast.